Round One of the USBA Masters of the Mountains series for 2009 is history, and it was quite fun!
For me, it was a busy weekend with two race classes, practice sessions, and especially with photography. I took over 2,000 pictures through the weekend!
As usual, the racing weekend was filled with highs and lows. The 1098 was incredible. I put a new set of Michelin Power Ones on it, and I’m blown away by how good those tires are. Now, I just need to step up my riding a bit. I was hoping for a good practice session on it Sunday morning before the races, but the schedule got moved around a bit, and I wound up just getting one session on the Aprilia and none on the Ducati.
Race One – Super Twins. I was on pole position for the race, due to winning the championship in this class last year. I knew I’d have my hands full with Shane Turpin and Patrick Lansu in particular – both incredibly fast racers, both on 1098R’s. Not to mention Mike Bunds and Brandal Glenn, both running good on their 848′s. No PK this time, which was a bummer. I saw him out there on Saturday practicing, but I’m not sure if his bike is ready.
The start procedure was lightning fast for some reason. Number boards – bang, bang, bang, green flag! I don’t think everyone was expecting that, and I wound up getting a decent jump off the line. I just couldn’t keep that beast from wheelieing! I tried to get all the forward momentum I could out of it while keeping the front end down. It felt like I was in quicksand, but suprisingly, no one passed me. All of a sudden I see Scott Feguson come up alongside me as we approached turn one. I thought “Wow. Good job, Scottie!” as he was coming from position four. I felt confident I could outbrake him into one, and that’s how it turned out. Holeshot in my first race of the year, so I was happy about that.
Somehow I pulled a big gap over the field, which must have gotten bunched up in turn one. I stayed in front for the entire first lap. In lap two, Turpin got by me as expected, but where were Lansu and the others?
At the end of the second lap, as I exited the last turn onto the straight and got on the gas, I was drifting right toward the curbing when I saw Lansu blaze by me on the right. I did my best to hang with him, but he was going pretty fast! I decided just to try to run good, solid laps and see if I could hold everyone off for the last podium position.
I wound up hanging on for third, which was a pretty good start to the season. It’d be great if I could get fast enough to challenge those two guys at the front, but that’s a tall order!
Thanks very much to Stephen Clark, a fellow racer and photographer, who captured some nice shots of me out on the track on the 1098. Here’s one of them:
Race Two – Twins GTU: I was VERY excited about this race. I was feeling great in practice on the Aprilia after getting it fixed, running very competitive lap times for this class. For months Todd Seaver and I have been anticipating a big showdown, especially on the East track.
Third call – all suited up and ready to rock and roll! Here we go!
Uh, no. No go. Once again the Aprilia won’t start, dead battery. I was stunned, livid, disgusted, mad, sad. I threw my gloves down, took off my gear and grabbed the camera to take pictures of my friends out on the track in a race I desperately wanted to compete in. Oh well.